Modi Mixing Article 370 With J&K’s Residency Law: Omar

Modi Mixing Article 370 With J&K’s Residency Law: Omar

2 December 2013
The Daily Excelsior


Srinagar: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is mixing Article 370 of the Constitution, which provides special status to J&K, with the State’s residency law. “My problem is not with misinformation about this (State residency or State subject) law. It will take some time to percolate across the country. “My problem is with people like Modi, who knowingly or unknowingly, I don’t know which (it is), seek to sort of join Article 370 with our State subject laws,” he told reporters at Sopore, 50 km from here. The State’s residency laws, popularly known as State Subject laws, have absolutely nothing to do with Article 370, Omar said. “The Aritlce 370 determines the relation between the Centre and the State. It is the bridge that joins J&K with rest of the country. Our State subject laws are our own. The State subject law as it exists now is not even a post-independence product. It is a pre-independence product,” Omar said. The Chief Minister was responding to Modi’s speech in Jammu yesterday in which he cited the example of Omar and his sister Sarah, claiming that women were discriminated in J&K. Responding to question about Modi’s call for a debate on abrogation of Article 370 in Parliament, Omar said his speech in Jammu yesterday was a climbdown from the known BJP stand on Article 370. “At a rally at Madhopur (near J&K-Punjab border), Modi called for complete abrogation of Article 370. What he says in J&K and what he says in the rest of country, we will have to see. I will wait and see what the BJP puts in its election manifesto,” he said. The BJP was looking for a regional alliance partner in Kashmir, Omar said. “It obviously seems the BJP is looking for a regional alliance partner which is not the National Conference.” Meanwhile, asking the people to shape their future by getting connected with peace- and development-loving forces, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today asked the people of the State not to get exploited by “dream merchants”, in an apparent reference to separatists. “The dream merchants have sold many dreams to the people without filling colour to any of them… People have to decide how long they could wait for peace and prosperity,” Omar said at a rally in Baramulla’s Sopore town, considered to be a separatist stronghold. He laid the foundation stone of the Rs 13.68-crore Mahrajpora bridge in the town, 50 kms from here. In the past 25 years, the State has witnessed economic distress due to peace disturbance, putting everything in a shambles and skyrocketing the unemployment rate. “We do not compel you to have same thought as is being nurtured by us for development and peace, but at the same time we want you to take home the fact that development process cannot be put to back burner for all the times to come,” Omar said, urging people to take the right decision. Referring to the lack of development in Sopore, hometown of hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, he said, “This is because the people of the town during the past 25 years were kept out of the ambit of peace and development.” “Instead of showcasing historic features of Sopore, its natural wealth, scenic beauty and world famous apple, this town has been introduced as the resort of violence, militancy, stone-pelting and peace disturbance,” he said. “It was my desire to address you here and make you aware of the losses you and your progeny are being put by negative politics and ask you to rise to the occasion and decide for yourself to make your destiny brighter and prosperous,” the Chief Minister said, disclosing that for lasting disturbance in Sopore, the security agencies were not in favour of him holding the public meeting in the town. “But, ignoring the advisory, I am talking to you frankly because you are as dear to me as the rest of the people of the State,” he said. Omar said despite the negative politics, his government took all measures to ensure equitable growth in this northern town of Kashmir, known for its horticulture produce. He said 35 water supply schemes have been launched in the town to provide drinking water facility to the people. A sum of Rs 35 crore is being spent on drainage and sewerage works while two projects have been launched to upgrade power system and six schemes are being implemented in the irrigation sector besides macadamising about 40 roads, he said, adding that 300 unemployed qualified youth have been appointed ‘Rehbar-e-Taleem’ (teachers) in Sopore. The public meeting was addressed by Minister for Higher Education, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Nazir Ahmed Gurezi, Legislator and Provincial President NC, Nasir Aslam Wani and MLAs, Mohammad Ashraf and Javed Ahmed Dar. Earlier, the Chief Minister laid foundation of 205 meters long 5.5 meter wide bridge over river Jhelum at Mehrajpora. The proposed bridge is likely to cost Rs.13.68 crores and its expected date of completion is February 2016. Launch of this bridge has fulfilled demand of people of Sopore. The bridge on completion will connect Mehrajpora, Arampora, Chankipora of Sopore town with Ningli Tarzoo and with the Srinagar National Highway. It will act as a bypass for Sopore town for district Bandipora to Srinagar.